Quick Take: Saints/Falcons

In Brief

» Last meeting: Darren Sharper intercepted Matt Ryan's desperation heave with three seconds left, sealing the Saints' 35-27 Week 8 victory.
» Streaks: The Saints have won six of seven against the Falcons, but trail the overall series, 46-35, including the playoffs.
» Last week: A remarkable comeback in Washington allowed New Orleans to keep its perfect season intact. ... Atlanta was embarrassed at home by Philadelphia, dropping a 34-7 decision.

Keep your eye on ...Atlanta's health situation: The Falcons played last week without QB Matt Ryan and RB Michael Turner. They were unable to generate much offense without their two stars, and both may miss this week's game as well. Regardless of whether or not they play, Atlanta must find a way to improve offensively, or it has no chance of beating New Orleans.

Mike Smith's defensive game plan: When Atlanta hired Smith, he was known as a sound defensive coordinator, who excelled at getting the most out of his players. The Falcons' struggles this year, however, have come on defense, and it gets no easier for Smith and his staff with the Saints' top-ranked offense coming to town.

Robert Meachem's emergence: New Orleans' patience with its 2007 first-round pick is paying off this season. After making little impact during his first two seasons, Meachem has become one of Drew Brees' go-to targets. He has seven touchdowns in the last five weeks (including a defensive score), and has scored at least once in all five games.

Did you know?

Saints safety Darren Sharper is tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions. ... New Orleans can establish a franchise record for regular-season victories in one season with one more win. ... Falcons WR Roddy White has a career-high eight TD catches this year. ... If the playoffs started today, the Saints would have the NFC's top seed and the Falcons would be on the outside looking in. Get an updated look at the postseason picture.

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